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While it’s probably not a productive move for your company to forbid relationships between co-workers, supervisor-subordinate relationships are another matter.

According to Career Builder’s 2018 Annual Valentine’s Day Survey, 30 percent of workers have dated someone at a higher level in the company than them, and 22 percent have dated their boss.

The impact flirtation, dating and relationships between co-workers can have on productivity is a concern, but as a Business Owner, you also want to tread lightly when it comes to an employee’s personal life.

It is not uncommon for public companies to have policies in place to ensure behavior at work is appropriate and that office romances don’t interfere with job responsibilities or performance.

Members may download one copy of our sample forms and templates for your personal use within your organization.

Please note that all such forms and policies should be reviewed by your legal counsel for compliance with applicable law, and should be modified to suit your organization’s culture, industry, and practices.

These types of relationships are a minefield for employers.

But while images of hearts and happy couples are everywhere right now, when it comes to love in the office, Business Owners can find themselves in an uncomfortable position.

In addition, these policies help protect employees from sexual harassment – and, by extension, safeguard the company from nasty legal troubles.

However, many privately held companies don’t have such policies but will have an Employee Handbook that addresses more common things like Benefits, PTO, Attendance, etc.

Any communication about office romances should always include discussion of your company’s policies around sexual harassment prevention.

“Many companies do have policies in place,” says Mary Lorenz, Corporate Communications Manager at Career Builder, “Often companies will have employees sign some sort of office romance ‘contract’ to protect the company against sexual harassment claims or other legal action should the relationship go south.” Maintaining that divide can be a challenge as the boundaries between work and life fade. While there were several other couples openly dating in the office, they kept their relationship under wraps for about nine months because she wanted to protect her professional reputation.

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